JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Phytochemicals suppress nuclear factor-κB signaling: impact on health span and the aging process

Antero Salminen, Anu Kauppinen, Kai Kaarniranta
Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care 2012, 15 (1): 23-8
22108095

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We will briefly review the current knowledge on the major molecular targets of plant-derived phytochemicals, particularly their connections to nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling, and accordingly link these observations to their anti-inflammatory properties and beneficial effects on the aging process and age-related degenerative diseases.

RECENT FINDINGS: Many of the major phytochemicals, for example, flavonoids and terpenoids, possess significant therapeutic properties including anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. Although phytochemicals have multiple molecular targets, recent studies have indicated that many of them can activate signaling pathways driven by AMP-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2. These pathways are potent inhibitors of NF-κB signaling, a crucial inducer of inflammatory responses and cancer formation. Current opinion suggests that inflammation has a critical role in the aging process and in the pathogenesis of age-related degenerative diseases and, thus, anti-inflammatory properties of phytochemicals could explain their beneficial effects on health span and lifespan.

SUMMARY: Plant-derived phytochemicals are promising lead compounds helping modern drug discovery to develop potent and safe inhibitors for age-related inflammatory disorders driven by NF-κB signaling.

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